Trolls and game development go hand in hand, it seems, and there’s really no escaping it.
The reasons behind trolling aren’t that important. The knock-on effects – especially on new or independent game developers – are!
Rating, No Comment
For many indie gamedevs (myself included), one of the major frustrations is the lack of proper comments accompanying ratings.
Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, of course, so they have the right to comment on the game, as not every game will appeal to every player. It’s a matter of personal taste or preference. So, with this in mind, it’s inevitable that a game’s ratings will be affected by this diversity of choice and preference.
Ratings by themselves mean absolutely nothing and contribute nothing. If accompanied by a review or comment, however, these are more valuable than just a rating. Reviews and comments help developers improve their games or help find bugs. They also give room for improving content or adding features gamedevs didn’t think about.
A practical review takes the game in general and focuses on how its key components fit together in the game. The reviewer then adjusts the rating to fit, not based on whether or not the reviewer likes the game, or the content.
Trolls rate biasedly.
It Affects Me, It Affects Me Not
To be a game developer, you need a thick skin.If a troll says nothing, then their rating means nothing. Whatever a troll does or says means nothing anyway. Even if a non-trolling, genuine person gives a low rating without commenting, it still means nothing because they’ve contributed nothing. I’d prefer a low rating with a comment as to why they chose to give that low rating than none at all.
Low ratings affect people in different ways. To some, it’s not a big deal. To others, however, it has a much deeper effect on them. I’ve seen it where gamedevs have rage-quit their game development after just one bad rating and review. Yet that person offered some sound, practical advice for improving the game!
If you expect no low ratings at all, then you’re going to get bitten! That is, unless your game is really good! And if you can’t ignore them or let those trollish ratings go, you may not be cut out to be a game developer.
It doesn’t matter if it’s just-because or out of professional jealousy, or some other reason. Focus on the ratings that matter: those with proper reviews or feedback and ignore the others.
It’s always encouraging to receive a high rating, even if there aren’t any comments accompanying them, and a good amount of praise. But you simply will NOT have a perfect score all of the time, as there may be something that doesn’t quite fit. Your game might be slightly buggy in certain areas or you might have plot inconsistencies, spelling or grammar errors, or a system that doesn’t work well.
No doubt you’ve heard the expression "Do what you love and love what you do"; maybe you’ve also used it on occasion.
The same can apply to trolls. Trolls are unimportant and insignificant. They don’t have enough of that "love" to offer anything of use. So it shouldn’t affect you. They don’t matter.
RPG Maker’s Bad Rap
RPG Maker has had quite a bit of bad rap. The most common issue, it seems, is the RTP graphics. They’re not 3D or amazing graphics-wise, despite some absolutely awesome games being produced with it. One amazing game of note is To The Moon, which was created with RPG Maker XP, I believe!
Trolls have bad-rated RPG Maker because of those reasons above. And, you know what? It doesn’t matter!
With the introduction of the latest in the series, RPG Maker MV, its cross-platform game production keeps many of the trolls at bay (mostly!). That doesn’t stop them from trolling the games produced by RMMV. They will and do low-rate at some point; it’s what they do!
If RPG Maker is your preferred engine, as it is mine, then nothing and no one should stop you from producing your games with it! But, learn from others, their experiences and comments!